In a major development in the financial world, Odogwu Banye Mmobuosi, also known as Dozy Mmobuosi, founder of the Tingo Group, faces serious charges of securities fraud and false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as announced by Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI.
The indictment, unsealed in Manhattan federal court, accuses Mmobuosi of orchestrating a deceptive scheme to inflate the financial statements of his companies – Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods. These allegations suggest that Mmobuosi falsely represented these Nigerian companies as operational and profitable, generating substantial revenues, and then sold them to U.S.-listed companies, including Tingo Group (Nasdaq: TIO) and Agri-Fintech Holdings (OTC Markets: TMNA).
This fraudulent activity reportedly led to the issuance of misleading financial statements, portraying Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods as profitable and cash-rich entities. Mmobuosi allegedly profited millions from this scheme through well-timed share sales at inflated prices.
Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney, commented on the gravity of Mmobuosi’s alleged actions, stating, “With this Indictment, Mmobuosi’s alleged deceitful scheme comes to an end.” Similarly, FBI Assistant Director James Smith emphasized the seriousness of such securities schemes, highlighting their devastating impact on investors and the commitment of the FBI to bring perpetrators to justice.
Mmobuosi, 45 and originally from Nigeria, faces charges including conspiracy, securities fraud, and making false filings with the SEC. The maximum sentences for these charges range from five to twenty years in prison, though actual sentencing will be determined by a judge.
The indictment also highlights Mmobuosi’s lavish lifestyle, allegedly funded by the profits from this fraudulent scheme. Accusations include the use of illicit profits for luxury cars and private jet travels. This indictment follows a lawsuit filed by the SEC against Mmobuosi and Tingo Group in December, describing the fraud as of “staggering” scope. Notably, Tingo’s reported cash balance of $461.7 million in March was starkly contrasted with legitimate bank records showing less than $50.
These charges are merely accusations at this stage, and Mmobuosi is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Davis and Kiersten A. Fletcher leading the prosecution.
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